The Queen: Lioness of the Psyche


The Queen archetype is the  feminine authority of the psyche whose natural instinct is to create lawful order and moral virtue by nurturing caring relationships. Most of us would like to empower our Queens but how do we go about it? Essentially, it is a four-step process of listening to our conscience and obeying its advice, questioning outworn morality, acquiring self-knowledge, and developing an authentic personal ethic rooted in humility and love.

Step 1: Listening. Consideration and respect for others tend to develop naturally in children who are well-loved by responsible parents. Of course, social learning backfires when a child’s models are unkind and anti-social. But most of us can learn to listen to our conscience which, like a good mother, tells us when we’ve done something wrong. Have you ever felt guilty for lying or saying something hurtful? Or betrayed a value you cherished and then felt ashamed for being a hypocrite? If so, your ego has listened to your Queen. But the Queen is not just the voice of society’s conscience. She is also a leader who urges us to “put our money where our mouth is.” At some point we need to choose our battles and act on her advice. Have you ever confronted a bully at the risk of being publically ridiculed? Or withdrawn your loyalty from a politician, media personality or religious leader who acts out of their own self-interest and lust for power? If so, you have followed the Queen’s guidance. You’re still not finished, though!

Step 2: Questioning. Life is about change; so is the feminine principle. When we start noticing that we and others are suffering, it gets harder to tell the difference between right and wrong. This leads to a time of questioning and challenging the old Queen’s ethic to make way for improvements. The inner force that urges us to change is, in fact, our evolving Queen.

Step 3: Searching. The thing that makes us evolve is self-knowledge. Journaling, dreamwork, therapy, study and meditation all help. Why is this step important? Because until your ego grows roots deep into the unconscious where it meets its savage twin, your virtue will be shallow and your choices will be influenced by every passing breeze. An ego that has not met its shadow feels self-righteous and morally superior. Sociopaths feel the same way. Sometimes the only way to learn the truth about ourselves is to face an intolerable moral dilemma that pits us against the Self. Either way we choose will feel wrong and right at the same time. This time of suffering and searching in the dark is our initiation into authenticity.

Step 4: Being. If we can tolerate the tension until we see our capacity for evil and if we are truly contrite, we will bow to the Self’s authority and our dilemma will be resolved without any help from our ego. Then we will acknowledge the Queen’s sovereignty as the feminine half of the Self, the lioness of the psyche. Then she will bless us with humility and compassion. Then the old need to appear virtuous will be replaced by simple, natural caring, which is all we need to be virtuous.

When one ego breaks through the shell of unconsciousness, everyone benefits. Here are some questions you can ask about your Queen. Where in my life is my queen strong? How is she changing? Where could I use more work? What form of inner work am I most drawn to? Why? What have I learned from it?

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.


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0 Responses

  1. Jeanie,
    This post startled me when I first read it for in meditation this morn, a truth, which has eluded me for years became apparent. It very much illustrated your message. Our words, our vows, our Queen within, have a lasting effect on who we are and who we will become.
    . Perhaps another way to say this is that when we realize the word can become flesh in a very personal sense, we must reflect on that reality. Our Queen within can start to work her way through some long buried issuses, if we are open to her voice.
    Thanks for your wisdom.

  2. Dear Sally,
    I’m so happy to know my post triggered a major awareness in you of an important truth. Don’t you just love these synchronicities that reveal our connectedness beneath the surface of things?
    Our Queen does evolve, from conventional authority to individual authority, and her growth requires and accompanies and is influenced by growth from our egos. We must, as you say, “reflect on that reality.” What worked once doesn’t work any more. What used to be true is no longer true. What we said once no longer applies. I have changed and you have changed. And yet, I am left with the consequences of everything I said and did in service to the old truths and values.
    So what can I do now? I can listen to my evolving Queen. I can question the old values and search for more authentic and appropriate words and responses. Most of all I can care about and be respectful of your reality as much as my own, even though I may not understand it.
    My Queen is growing, and I can grow with her. There is hope for me yet. The lioness in me knows what is really important and she will be true to that no matter what. All I have to do is pay attention to her purrs and roars.
    I know you have a very strong Queen. I’ve met her. So where could you use more work to empower her and yourself in ever more healthy ways? And what are you doing to make that happen? I’d love to know.
    Thanks so much for writing, and much love to a sister traveler,

  3. Dear Jeanie,
    You ask, what will I do to empower my Queen, myself? This is a powerful question, for when I first began to realize a new truth I thought this could make a really good short story. But then that nay sayer within started nagging, “Do you really want to reveal that much, or go digging in spots that might not be best for others? And besides what makes you think you can write fiction.”
    So, the fear, the doubting self, or maybe even the lazy bug bites. I hope that lioness within will increase her roar.
    You do have a way of stirring things up.

  4. Hi Sally,
    I know the fearful doubting self well. I first met her at the age of 10 when I threw away the first 30 pages of a novel I had the audacity to think I could write.
    Okay. I have three quotes for you from lionesses I admire:
    Brenda Ueland says: “In true courage there is always an element of choice, of an ethical choice, and of anguish, and also of action and deed. There is always a flame of spirit in it, a vision of some necessity higher than oneself.”
    Marion Woodman, “It takes great courage to break with one’s past history and stand alone.”
    And finally from Muriel Rukeyser, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”
    Powerful words by courageous women who have dared to follow the flame, tell the truth, and stand alone. I hope you’ll write that story.

    1. You’re very welcome. And by the way, in reference to my question about what inner work you’re drawn to, it sounds as if writing may be an especially inviting and valuable spiritual practice for you as it is for me. I know you’re doing dreamwork too. In my experience, the combination of the two can be dy-no-mite!! Brava, Queen Sally.

  5. Beautifully said and expressed, Jean! So sovereign is the Lioness, that I never miss an occasion to watch documentaries on these Queens of the forest & jungles…they have so much to teach us, women of the human jungle so as to acquire our instincts for self-respect in our own eyes first to be role-models for the younger generations, with a routine introspection to enable the the inner guide to move, advance, jump with Grace, rooted in the depths of Care and hold the aptitude for leadership!Looking forward to your new book!
    Thank you for your inspiration!
    Gratitude & Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Brinda. Your comment was likewise beautifully expressed. I agree that Nature’s Queen has much to teach our inner Queen about self-respect, care and leadership. I envision a time when people everywhere will value her caring and grace and manifest her in their lives. It begins when we honor her in ourselves.
      May she live long and prosper in you,

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